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Dissonance and Harmony

People hold clearly discordant points of view, and it would be dishonest to ignore the conflict. Yet some voices emphasize the dissonance without any note of harmony to put it in context. Too often, science and faith becomes a hostile battle of worldviews, sounding angry, dissonant chords even among fellow Christians. But civil, gracious dialogue is possible.

 

Series: Medieval Christianity and the Rise of Modern Science (2 entries)

Historian of science James Hannam writes that the notion of inherent conflict between Christianity and science is a pernicious myth. In fact, by the middle ages, science already had a central place in Christian centers of learning. Indeed, it was a Christian worldview that proved especially compatible with—even necessary for—the rise of modern science. In this two-part essay, Hannam describes the conditions in the West in the medieval period that set the stage for the spectacular advance of science in the centuries to follow.

 

Jesus the Artist

Speaking in parables is indeed similar to an artist’s craft. They create impressions, whole new worlds of meaning intended to turn old worlds on their heads.

 

"Come and See": A Christ-centered Invitation for Science

Classical Christian orthodoxy as expressed in the Creeds begins at the beginning: nature owes its existence to and is sustained by Jesus Christ. One implication is that the best way of finding out about nature is to look at nature.

 

Christianity and the History of Science (Infographic)

The BioLogos Forum is pleased to present this infographic about the relationship of Christianity with science throughout history. It debunks the myth that they have always been in conflict, and it reveals numerous examples of Christians playing a leading role in the development of natural science.

 

David Lack and Darwin’s Finches

Considering the immense popularity of "Darwin's finches", it is quite surprising to learn that Charles Darwin himself had very little to say about them. In fact, it was actually David Lack, one century later, who conducted the critical research that immortalized the finches in biology textbooks and popular lore.

 

Series: Let's Not Surrender Science to the Secular World (7 entries)

In this series, Mark H. Mann rejects the polarization of science and faith, claiming that this separation actually causes elements of Gnosticism to rise up among Christian fundamentalists. In reality, secular knowledge is never purely objective, but has and continues to be influenced by particular world views. He calls Christians to reclaim the scientific endeavor as a means for revealing the “Book of Creation,” which ultimately will enable us to read God’s Word more accurately.

 

Series: A Quest for God (6 entries)

In this five part series, two young men, Josh and Aron, engage each other through e-mail letters. Their conversation oscillates between the seemingly suspicious elements of God and the gospel (raised by Josh) as well as responses that offer meaningful insight into these questions (answered by Aron). Ideas such as prayer, judgment, and the concealed nature of God are among the many points in this truth-seeking exchange.

 

Series: The Collapsing Universe in the Bible (9 entries)

This series written by Brian Godawa delves into eschatological passages with “de-creation language.” He argues that these passages do not foretell literal geophysical events to come, but, put into the context of the Old Testament thinking, actually describe the dethroning of worldly powers and the establishing of God’s kingdom on Earth. This, according to Godawa, happened when Jesus Christ came in the flesh.

 

The Galileo Affair: Emblematic or Exceptional?

On the morning of June 22, 1633 in the hall of the convent of Santa Maria sopra Minvera in Rome, Galileo Galilei knelt before the Lord-Cardinal Inquisitors-General and publicly abjured his false opinion that the sun was the motionless center of the universe.

 

In the Middle of Things

During the medieval era, as we can see in examples from three different fields—science, theology, and literature—people were interested and engaged. They were not shrouded in darkness and anti-progression, yet for centuries the period was characterized in this way.

 

Reconciliation of a World Gone Wrong

Our estrangement from God began when early humans disobeyed God’s will and took a path leading away from God. Genes and culture contribute to a sinful world in which all people are born and nurtured, and our impact on our environment distorts the terrestrial creation.

 

Series: A.D. White’s “Warfare between Science and Theology” (5 entries)

In this series, Mark Noll shows that the long-enduring metaphor of warfare between science and dogmatic theology as suggested by White is inaccurate. After introducing Andrew Dickinson White and his views on the science-faith interaction, Noll offers his own counter-argument for philosophical and historical reasons.

 

The Creator is the Redeemer

Central to all of this is the resurrection of Jesus. Rising from the dead is the true beginning of this new mode of existence in which believers—right here and now—take part. Believing in Jesus means you are benefiting from Jesus’ resurrection already now in the new life you experience by the power of the Spirit.

 

Christian Faith and World Class Science

Watching the discussion surrounding Francis Collins's National Institutes of Health (NIH) appointment has been enlightening in so many ways. Especially interesting are the arguments by critics such as Sam Harris that someone with faith in God cannot be a good scientist.

 

Adventist Origins of Young Earth Creationism

Many evangelicals believe that Young Earth Creationism is the only authentic, biblical way for Christians to understand origins, and that until the advent of Darwin's theory of evolution, it was the only view held by Christians. However, in this excerpt from Saving Darwin, Karl Giberson explains that Young Earth Creationism's origins are surprisingly recent.

 

Can science and scripture be reconciled?

In Christian belief, God reveals himself in both the written book of the Bible and the created “book” of the natural world. Thus, the truths we find in scripture should not conflict with the truths we find in nature. Yet at times the two revelations seem to be saying contradictory things about how God made the world. Since God does not lie, the conflict must occur at the level of human interpretation: either a misunderstanding of what God is revealing in nature, or a misunderstanding of what God is revealing in scripture. Conflicts motivate us to reevaluate both interpretations. Christians may disagree on whether the scientific or the Biblical interpretation needs to change, but we can agree that God speaks to us in both revelations.
(Updated on March 10, 2012)

 

On what grounds can one claim that the Christian God is the creator?

The science of evolution is consistent with many religions and with atheism. Science alone cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. Some scientific evidence, such as fine-tuning, points to a Creator, but even this does not support Christianity over other religions. However, Christian doctrine is broadly compatible with scientific accounts of our origins. Though belief in the Christian God is not scientifically provable, it is not irrational. Commitment to Christ is a reasonable choice supported by a variety of evidence from history, philosophy, and the testimony of others. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit works in each person’s life to bring them into relationship with Jesus.
(Updated on March 10, 2012)

 

Are science and Christianity at war?

Some people see science and religion as enemies, at war for leadership in our modern culture. Others see science and religion as completely separate and unrelated facets of life. However, science is not the only source of facts, and religion reaches beyond the realm of values and morals. In fact, religion can have a positive impact on science, such as in the development of modern medical ethics. Many early scientific leaders were devout Christians, as are some scientific leaders today. Science can also enhance the spiritual life of believers. Christians rejoice in scientific discoveries that reveal the glory of God the creator.
(Updated June 27, 2012)

 

How have Christians responded to Darwin’s "Origin of Species"?

Even before Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, many Christians had already accepted an old Earth. One of the first supporters of evolutionary science in America—Harvard biologist Asa Gray—was a devout Christian. Conservative theologian B. B. Warfield also accepted the science of evolution, and both he and Asa Gray rejected the idea that evolution leads to atheism. Even the authors of The Fundamentals, published between 1910 and 1915, accepted an old earth. It wasn’t until a century after Darwin that a large number of evangelicals and fundamentalists began to accept the combination of flood geology and 6-day creation promoted by Seventh-day Adventists.
(Updated on July 10, 2012)

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